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Reserves-hungry majors return to frontier exploration in Africa’s deep waters

The need to maintain supplies of oil and gas in the face of growing competition from new players, and pressure to generate profits during a period when downstream margins are lacklustre, has led to an upsurge in activity by the majors in frontier areas like Benin, South Africa, Kenya and Madagascar, which were previously seen as the territory of more nimble independents. Total’s secretary general Africa Abiodun Afolabi told Global Pacific & Partners’ Africa Upstream conference in Cape Town on 27 November that the French major planned exploration drilling in five countries in 2014.

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